ONTARIO — In order to keep good housing for its employees at two remote locations in Malheur County, the Oregon Department of Transportation went out for bids on four homes which were found not to be favorable as far cost. 

Two of the modular homes will be delivered to Basque Station. This is an ODOT maintenance station along U.S. Highway 95 between Burns Junction and the Oregon/Nevada border, according to ODOT spokesperson Tom Strandberg. The other pair will be set up at Juntura, west of Vale near the Malheur/Harney county line. 

The low bid for the Juntura homes was $852,845 for the two and the bid for the Basque homes $876,466, Strandberg said. 

Both contracts were awarded to Northwest Legacy Contractors of Battleground, Washington. 

Noting the bids are “very, very high,” Strandberg said, the homes will be built off-site and transported in, and crews will have to housed on site while the homes are being set up.

The existing septic systems will have to be replaced, he said. 

These bids are not the only ones that have come in high, Stranberg said, commenting that agency has canceled some projects because of costs that were higher than budgeted for. 

“We have to do it,” he said, to provide homes for employees in those locations. 

The good economy is not favorable to getting lower bids, he said noting “there was not a lot of interest” from contractors.

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